Iran does not want Kurdistan to be a strong economic power: former Coalition spox

“They will use attacks to kill and terrorize Kurdish people and scare foreign investors.”
Retired US Army Col. Myles B. Caggins III (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
Retired US Army Col. Myles B. Caggins III (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Retired US Army Col. Myles B. Caggins III, a former spokesman for the US-led Coalition in Iraq and a senior fellow at the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, told Kurdistan 24 that Iran does not want the Kurdistan region to be a strong economic power.

“Iran does not want the Kurdistan region to be a strong economic power, and they will use attacks to kill and terrorize Kurdish people and scare foreign investors,” he said.

Moreover, he added that Iran attacked Erbil with missiles last Monday due to the visit of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and the Kurdistan delegation to Switzerland. “They're in Switzerland to highlight that they're there to promote Kurdistan region as a good place for foreign investments,” he said.

Read More: PM Barzani, UN chief discuss Iranian attacks on Erbil

He also said it is good to see the “condemnation of Iran from all of the world including the United States, but I noticed something important, Baghdad and the central government of Iraq has condemned Iran by name.”

Moreover, he said it is important now that Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani is in Davos , this is Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani. “He is showing that he will make public statements to show condemnation of Iran for its deadly attack”

Furthermore, on Wednesday, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani canceled their Davos meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in protest of Monday's missile attacks in Erbil that killed four civilians.

Read More: “No Israeli Mossad base,” Iraqi national security advisor rejects IRGC allegations

Moreover, he said Iraqi officials visited Erbil the home of prominent businessmen Peshraw Dizayee, who was killed in the attack, and underlined that the home is not a ‘Israeli Mossad intelligence site’.

“This is a civilian home, and Iranian attacks are deadly and a violation of  sovereignty and they are designed to kill civilians and that is why they are condemned. But the question is what further action will happen? Will Iraq do sanctions against Iran? Will Iraq send away some of the Iranian diplomats and out of the embassy? Will Iraq ask for assistance from neighboring countries or Western countries who defend against Iran?”

Caggins III also said Iraq does say it is responsible for securing the borders, and Iraq says it is responsible for protecting Kurdish people, and Iraq sent its investigators to Erbil to confirm that this was not a Israeli Mossad site. “So, it’s up to Iraq to have an integrated system of a cooperative system of defense and intelligence and law enforcement to protect against these types of attacks.”

Caggins III also said that the US recognized the Kurdistan region's importance to American security goals in the Middle East and American economic goals in Iraq.

“Last year, there was a law, the defense law that was signed in by President Biden where there will be a study of air defense of anti missile defenses to be placed in Iraq (including in Kurdistan) and that is one of the recognitions of the strong relationship between the United States and Kurdistan.”